Vegetable crisis cost UK retailers €9 million in January alone

LAST UPDATED: 8 Feb, 2017 @ 14:45
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img_0859-e1486136055809-300x259THE UK salad shortage caused by bad weather in Spain has hit retailers hard, according to new figures from the market research company IRI.

UK courgette sales were down by €2.3 million in January, a fall of nearly 40% on last year. Sales of bagged spinach were down 47%, losing €6.5 million. This puts the impact of the crisis at €8.8 million, and that’s not taking the shortage of lettuce into account.

A triple-whammy of drought, floods and hard frost has decimated the Spanish crops of lettuce, spinach, courgettes and other vegetables.

This has resulted in a shortage in the UK, which imports about 65% of its fresh fruit and vegetables from the rest of the EU, with Spain the biggest individual source.

British supermarkets have begun to ration lettuces, and many shelves stand empty altogether.

A black market has sprung up, trading the green stuff for up to four times its normal value.

There have been reports of broccoli on sale for €6 a kilo, and iceberg lettuce being flogged for €5 a pop.

Fepex, the largest Spanish growers’ association, has warned that the shortage will last at least until April.

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18 COMMENTS

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  1. Just means that importers and retailers are ripping off a gullible UK public, which is’nt hard to do I know.

    In France – Spanish lettuce is normally 99c, it has gone up to €1.49. Broccoli – still @ 99C for 500g. Grappe tomatoes (my favourite, because of taste) usually at this time of year from LIdl/Aldi @ €1.99 but more expensive always from other s/markets @ €2.49, now @ €3.99 – so I go without tomatoes, no big deal.

    As I said, always easy to rip-off the Brits, they always have governments, Nasty or Pink Tory that are little more than whores for big business and never work in the interests of ordinary people.

    • Trump’s anti immigrant silliness has apparently affected US produce prices too. Cost of a bunch of celery fluctuated between $.89 and $2.49 and back again. Most produce in midwest comes from Mexico. No doubt there is manipulation by distributors.

  2. This is what happens when a country and it’s government get lazy. The UK is reliant on a huge amount of imports to sustain it. Cheaper to ship it in than put the infrastructure in place to produce more home grown produce and goods. Well the chickens are coming home to roost. Climate shift will bring more bad weather to traditional growing areas and growing under glass will become more widespread. This shortage has nothing to do with Brexit but the effects of that won’t help.

    • I suppose one way, that is if one has a garden and is a veg eater is to turn it into an allotment. An Italian friend dug up his lawn and planted all forms of vegetation. Flower bed either side were converted to growing tomatoes and beans etc. When I asked him why he dug up his lovely lawn to plant veges he said, “ya cano eata da grass and ya cano eata da flowers”. Makes sense I suppose, but then he does own a small farm back in “da ol’ country”. lol

      • What’s all this xenophobic crap, laboriously mocking accents? It’s no more funny, or less offensive than doing the same thing to a Chinese or Asian language. Give over, you clown.

          • Fred, not sure why you should be so concerned about you right to stay in Europe, did you not say you have “multi nationalities.

        • Blast, wish I knew a Chinese or an Asian, but then I doubt if I would be able to understand what they were saying regardless of their interpretation of the English languge but understood where my friend was coming from. Both you and Fred must accept that 17.4m people voted to leave, forget others that which wished to stay….they lost, get over it. Must be great living next to either one of you. Do you ever smile.

          • Carlos, you have wrongly turned this post into a Brexit debate. Seems you want to deflect attention away from your earlier posts. Bit too late for that and a lol won’t save you either.

          • Not really Fred, I assume, like your assumptions on many things that your concern was the loss of the Spanish cuisine and was one of the reasons of wishing to remain, you did say for personal reasons at one time, am I wrong. You do tend to get things wrong as usual. Go on, I always a sulking Kid to have a last word, it’s called the understanding of a simple mind, it quietens em’ down. BTW Fred, why are you so nasty, something bad must gave happened in your life, can we help in some way, they say eating plenty of veggies does help. lol

  3. With LED and soil less culture there is no need to buy from abroad. Good for balance of payments and providing work for Brits.

  4. I was shopping in Aldi UK yesterday and no problem. Lots of veg including lots of offers. Asparagus for 59p etc.
    Lots of produce from South America and South Africa, including wines from those locations.
    Stop the scaremongering.
    Jean Briggs

  5. “This has resulted in a shortage in the UK, which imports about 65% of its fresh fruit and vegetables from the rest of the EU,”

    And it will get worse… A LOT WORSE.

    • Quite right Pablo, it will get worse especially items coming from Spain. Big companies will be looking elsewhere for cheaper goods due to the weather conditions hitting Spain and once these companies have found a new source of supply such as countries of S.America and S.Africa
      it will be difficult for Spanish farmers to get back into the market back again and will certainly feel the pinch more then the UK. Besides everyone suffers if the weather is not doing it’s job

      • Being Argentinian, I can tell you that NONE of the products of South America can be cheaper than the Europeans for the UK because of something called costo e envío, flete, freight, shipment cost.
        Add to that that NONE of the countries of South America and Africa have any kind of agreement with the UK regarding taxes, rates, import permits, and you will have the whole picture.

        ALL those agreements are with the EU and NOT with the UK.

        Capisce?

      • The problem is not the weather, the problem is that the british do not want to pay the real price.
        As for importing items from South Am and South Africa, all due respect, but it seems to me that you dont know too much about economy.
        Do you know something called “flete”, shipping costs?
        Well, South America is at 14.000 km from britain, while Spain and Italy are at 1500.
        Add to that that NONE of the countries of Mercosur, etc have any kind of agreement with the UK, and draw your own conclusions.
        And go back to school. lol

  6. See Ol’ Blue eyes is still at it. Mmm, I suppose you tend to forgot air fright, a much quicker delivery then shipping and are used for mass commercial dealings Worldwide. For a start, South Africa has very close trade ties with the UK and South America does not turn down a good deal and the likes of Asda and other supermarkets will continue to supply. it’s called business me boy and money talks. Besides, it’s just a snap of the cold weather. Hope you took note of OP’s
    “Spain’s growers lash out at ‘totally false’ British coverage of vegetable”…What’s that you said about schooling.

  7. Ol’ Blue eyes, did respond but didn’t get through for some reason, don’t know why, it was just explaining where you were wrong. If I recall it was something to do with air freight transpositions which is one of the biggest forms of delivery of goods in this modern world today (much quicker then shipping) and another if I recall was something do do with trade agreements we already have with South Africa. Never mind hope you get the jest. BTW, did you say you were going back to school. lol.

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